Sports have been a part of mankind for thousands of years, and today it’s one of the most popular pastimes in the world, both for playing and for following. Sports for athletes that suffer from an impairment is much more recent, and goes back about 100 years, when the first sports clubs for the deaf were in place by 1888.
It wouldn’t be until the end of the second World War that the idea of sports for the disabled would become more disordered, although the purpose at the time was to allow war veterans and injured civilians to participate in sports they would otherwise not be able to take part in. Today, the Games can be found in just about every piece of modern pop culture, from television shows to online slots Canada.
Following World War 2
In 1944, the British Government requested that Dr. Ludwig Guttmann open a spinal injuries centre that would be located at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Great Britain, and before ling, rehabilitation sports quickly grew into recreational sport, and then into competitive sports. On the 29th of Jury, 1948, which was the day of the Opening Ceremony for the 1948 Olympics in London, Dr. Guttmann organised the very first competition for athletes that were wheelchair-bound. He named the competition the Stoke Mandeville games, and it proved to be an incredibly important milestone in Paralympics history. The Games involved a total of 16 servicemen and women that took part in archery. Some years later in 1952, Dutch servicemen joined the movement, and the International Stoke Mandeville Games were officially founded.
The Paralympic Games
The first Paralympic Games took place in Rome in1960, and featured over 400 athletes from a total of 23 countries. Since then, the Games have been held every four years. The first Winter Games in the Paralympics history took place in 1976 and were held in Sweden, and have continued to this day, being held every four years. Each Games includes a Paralympics Opening Ceremony, followed by a Paralympics Closing Ceremony.
During 1960, under the direction of the World Federation of former servicemen, an International Working Group on Sport for the Disabled was created to help study and deal with problems that impaired athletes may face. It resulted in the creation of the International Sport Organisation for the Disabled, four years later, who would go on to offer opportunities to athletes who at the time were unable to affiliate directly with the International Stoke Mandeville Games, which included those that suffered from amputation, visual impairment, cerebral palsy, and paraplegics.
On the 22nd of September 1989, the International Paralympic Committee was founded as a new international non-profit that was based in Düsseldorf, Germany. They were founded to act as the global governing body of the world’s Paralympic Movement, and it’s the organisation that still regulates all of the current Paralympic activity that takes place every four years. Under the IPC, the Paralympics has become a globally renowned entity that spans almost all of the world’s countries and hosts thousands of athletes.